Witney & District Reports - Week 1

By Ant Barlow

Saturday 4th September 2021

Marvellous Mays gives Hanborough a happy return

Premier Division
Craig Mays fired home a tremendous hat-trick on his debut as he helped Hanborough to the top of the Premier Division with a 3-0 win over Milton in their first fixture back in the Witney and District.

Mays opened the scoring to get Hanborough on their way but found themselves pegged back by Milton after Alex Ayres scored a screamer to get to 1-1. Dan Haggie restored Hanborough’s advantage poking the ball home from a corner and May’s got his second to double their advantage. Tom Bennington was called upon in the Hanborough goal on a couple of occasions but made good saves as Boro went in two up at half-time.

A slightly more comfortable second half for Boro as they took control of the game. Kev Davies scored a fine goal from the edge of the box and then turned provider as he put Mays through for his third and the goal that made sure of all three points.

Hailey are hot on Hanborough’s heels as they safely negotiated their way past Premier Division new boys Hook Norton at Middletown. Joey Aust, Freddie Buckingham and Tom Gregory each scored once to give Hailey all three points in the 3-0 win.

Division One
Hailey Reserves couldn’t share the same fortune as their first team as they were thrashed 6-0 by visiting Wootton. Jared Smile made everyone happy with his brace. Further goals followed from Vince Evans, Jamie Hutton, Jack Dineen and Craig Gilboy as Wootton made a huge statement on the opening day.

Pre-season favourites Minster Lovell Reserves had a roller coaster first game out as they recovered from two goals down and only having ten men on the field to see off Brize Norton. Early omens were not good as Danny Brearly missed an early penalty and things got worse as Brize took the lead against the run of play. Jamie Pattison firing in for the home side. Carl Williams was then sent off for Minster for foul and abusive language and before the half was up, Brize were two ahead thanks to Dylan Briggs’ goal.

The half-time team talk clearly did the trick though as Minster came out firing in the second half. Rui Alves scored a brace to restore parity and Minster took control as Sam Wright scored two of his own. Ryan Barrass eventually secured the win with Minster’s fifth. Adam Davis grabbed a third for Brize, who gave a spirited performance but ultimately wasn’t’ enough on the day.

Seb White slotted home a second half penalty to give Bampton all three points against Kingham. In a back and forth encounter Bampton scored through Karl Pritchard to take the lead only for Tom Gustine and Matt Deakin to put Kingham in front. Bampton levelled through Dan Paintin and just as though the game looked to be heading for a draw, White slotted home from twelve yards for a 3-2 victory.

Division Two
Witney and District new boys Fratellos made light work of Cassington Rangers as they ran out 8-1 winners. Jack Allen slotted home five goals to get his season off to the perfect start and he was joined on the score sheet by team mates Frank Michienzi and Levi Cox (2). Calam Branch scored Cassington’s consolation goal.

Adam Webley scored an 82nd minute penalty to give Bourton Rovers all three points on their trip to Aston. In a competitive, back and forth encounter, Webley was a constant nuisance for the Aston back line and put the Gloucestershire outfit ahead as he side footed the ball into the back of the net following a drilled cross into the box.

Aston slowly got themselves into the game and drew level through a stroke of luck. Lewis Scott’s corner was swung in from the right hand side and as the keeper rose to claim the ball unchallenged, he let the ball slip through his gloves and into the back of the net.

Both sides searched for a winner but as the game ticked into the last ten minutes Webley arrived first to a 50/50 ball and the Aston defender could only clatter into him to give away the penalty. Webley dusted himself off and calmly popped the ball into the back of the net, despite the keeper going the right way and getting a glove to the ball too. It stayed that way until the final whistle and Bourton left the happier of the two sides.

Division Three
Another new team, another resounding victory as Faringdon Town A thumped Leafield FC in their first game in Division Three.

Gabriel Menezes did score a double for Leafield but he was cancelled out by Robbie Harrington's own double. Man of the match awards were reserved for Richard Evans who scored four times to put the game out of reach and take home all three points.

Craig Greenhalgh's hat-trick proved to be the difference as Hailey A visited Brize Reserves. Joe Hatt and Jacob Hambridge's goals for Brize were cancelled out by Zac Payne and Bradley Evans' goals for Hailey A with Greenhalgh's goals crucial for a 5 - 2 victory.

The only draw of the day came at Milton as Milton Reserves faced off against Eynsham SSC. Dan Hooton scored for the home side Milton with Lewis Wild’s strike ensuring that both sides left with a point.

Division Four
An eleven goal thriller welcomed Hatherop Reserves into the Witney and District as they played out an epic encounter against Aston.

Mani Rawanawa has the honour of scoring Hatherop’s first goal in the league and it only took him four minutes to do so. A quick-fire David Legg brace and a goal for James Head saw Hatherop four up inside 20 minutes.
Stunned Aston eventually settled and on the forty minute mark made their presence known with Harvey Gould's free kick sumptuously curled into the top corner from the edge of the box. Just 2 minutes later they scored again, Ash Edwards leaping highest from a corner to make it 4 - 2.

A change of keeper at half time did nothing to stem the flow of goals into the Hatherop net. One shot went through the keeper’s legs and Josh Asbrey bundled the ball into the net. Minutes later Aston were level as Jay Whelan took a chance shot at goal from yards out only to see the ball fly into the bottom corner with the keeper out of position. Aston's astonishing turnaround was complete as the keeper let another shot squirm through his legs and Jack Chaundry was on hand at the back post to put Aston 5 - 4 ahead.

Hatherop weren't to be denied though and equalised soon after thanks to Harvey New's strike. Both sides had chances to win it, Aston hitting the woodwork and Hatherop forcing a world class save from the Aston keeper. In the final minute, a Hatherop free kick was fired in by Rawanawa which cannoned off the underside of the bar. As the Hatherop players appealed that it had gone over the line, Andrew Easton reacted fastest and headed the ball into the net to give Hatherop victory.

Faringdon Town B also secured a maiden victory on their Witney and District debut as they were able to defeat Leafield FC Reserves by the odd goal in five. Tom Burdett’s brace got Faringdon nicely on their way but Jason Bufton and Mark Hillier responded for Leafield. Iestyn Morgan-Evans scored a third for Faringdon and the game finished 3-2 to Faringdon.

Winning by one goal proved to be a theme in Division Four as Sherborne Harriers and Carterton Town FC played out a five goal battle. Tyler Webster and Fenn Carey scored for Carterton but Aaron Lowe, Kev Goodwill and Josh Betteridge went one better for Sherborne as they won 3-2.

Where next?

Witney & District Reports - Week 2 Saturday, 11th September 2021
Season 2021-22 We are ready to go

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